NAGOURNEY (11/7/06): Polls over the weekend suggested that the contest was tightening, and some prognosticators on Monday were scaling back their predictions, if ever so slightly. (Charlie Cook, the analyst who is one of Washington's chief setters of expectations, said in an e-mail message on Monday that he was dropping the words possibly more from his House prediction of ''20-35, possibly more.'')Does Cook deserve to be called The Great Char-nac? At this point, Char-broiled might be more like it! Of course, when you earn your keep reading the flight of birds, you sometimes must clip your own wings.
HOW WE GOT THERE: Our nation is in a very bad state. This morning, that day-dreaming dean of all pundits, David Broder, helps us recall how we got there. After the Negative Campaigns, Sage Advice, the headline on this brilliant piece says.
Broder recalls something Lamar Alexander once said; its a wise policy to have at least one old geezer on the White House staff...someone who can speak with utter frankness without fear of the consequences. Needless to say, this makes Broder dream about the vast wisdom of his own cohort:
BRODER: (11/7/06): That's excellent advice, and my one regret is that my old colleague Mary McGrory, who certainly would have qualified for [such a] council of elders, did not live long enough to serve. But some of Mary's finest work is finally between hard covers in "The Best of Mary McGrory," published by Andrews McMeel and selected and edited, with great love, by Phil Gailey, a dear friend of Mary's from the old Washington Star who is now at the St. Petersburg Times.Broder offers two clips from McGrorys book. She once wrote this about Nixon, he says: "He was smart but got something big wrong: He thought politics was war and that everything is justified.
MCGRORY (10/31/99): Vice President Albert Gore came to his fateful encounter with newly menacing challenger Bill Bradley carrying heavy baggage. He was wearing an outfit that added to his problems when he stepped onstage at Dartmouth College: a brown suit, a gunmetal blue shirt, a red tie—and black boots.Everyone hated Gores raiment! Was it part of his reinvention strategy? McGrory asked. Perhaps it was meant to be a ground-leveling statement—I am not a well-dressed man. Not yet spent, she sagely continued: It is hard to imagine that he thought to ingratiate himself with the nations earliest primary voters by trying to look like someone seeking employment at a country music radio station. A hail of similar inane insults followed. Four days later, she wrote again, complaining about Gores distracting new suit, a three-button brown affair that caused much nostalgia for navy-blue serge. That, of course, was the same brown suit the Posts Marc Fisher was still deriding at the end of November. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 11/6/06. Marvel at the work of this group.
SCARBOROUGH (11/6/06): Ana Marie Cox, let`s start with you. Talk about the Virginia race. Its certainly one of the tightest, most interesting, and nastiest Senate races in America.Pure stock. Yes, but look at these polls, Scarborough urged, and this questions just how strong Jim Webb is. Cox was ready to help out there too. Remember the famous pundit formula—unlike us, these guys are both idiots:
COX: And one of the most hilarious, really.
SCARBOROUGH: It is.
COX: I think that George Allen—late-night comedians the world over owe George Allen a debt of gratitude, and thats one of the few reasons Id like to see him get re-elected.
COX: Well, thats true. But the thing is here is that Allen is a bad candidate. He`s run a terrible campaign. Webb is just no one. Hes just kind of boring. Hes kind of a pumpkin-head.Allen had been entertaining—but Webb, who was kind of a pumpkin-head, was just no one. He was also kind of boring.